Motivations to Pursue Accreditation in Children’s Mental Health Care: A Multiple Case Studyedit
Accreditation is a growing, worldwide phenomenon that has spread to a range of industries and fields, including nonprofit social services and mental health care. Thousands of organizations are accredited, but it is not known what is driving the growth of this phenomenon. Using a multiple case study design, this exploratory study aimed to understand children’s mental health agencies’ motivations to pursue accreditation. In‐depth interviews, focus groups, document reviews, and limited observations were conducted at five children’s mental health agencies that had recently undergone or were undergoing the Council on Accreditation process. Agencies were influenced by external factors, such as policies that require accreditation, wanting to assert their positions in the field, and the need to increase funding opportunities. Other factors were internal, related to agency leadership using accreditation as a platform for change and agencies’ genuine intent to improve services. Implications for agencies, accreditors, and future research are offered.